The original SUPERHOT impressed players and critics with its unique time bending mechanic. In the minimalist style first person shooter, time only moves when you do. By placing accurate shots and catching enemy weapons out of the air, players blast through numerous gunfight scenarios. The original SUPERHOT made you feel like a bad ass, no doubt about it. Putting that experience into virtual reality only magnifies the feeling like you’re Neo in The Matrix. However, the game was originally designed for room scale VR (HTC Vive, etc), so does the PSVR port deserve the same praise?
SUPERHOT HYPER TIMING
Firstly, I want to acknowledge the quality of SUPERHOT VR‘s main gameplay gimmick. I said it in the foreword, and I’ll say it again. Playing SUPERHOT VR makes you feel like the slickest, most talented mixture of James Bond and Neo. Since time only moves as you move, you’ll often find yourself dodging bullets in slow motion, planning your next shot with care, and generally executing the pixelated red foes with style.
SUPERHOT VR‘s minimalist style looks decent on Sony’s virtual reality headset, but there’s a distinct lack of clarity in the visuals. Things look a bit sharp on the edges, and the hospital-like cleanliness of the world is a bit lost. It’s not enough to greatly diminish the experience, but worth noting.
Hack the Planet
While SUPERHOT VR uses most of the same story beats as the original SUPERHOT, the game is still its own experience. Both games have different levels and challenges to complete, but the main themes stay the same. You play as a hacker, cooped up in a tiny room with multiple monitors. Here, you can see various challenges you’ve accomplished in the form of post it notes, take in your stuffy surroundings, and take a much needed break from the stark world of SUPERHOT. There’s not much gameplay to be had in the computer room, but the change of style is appreciated. In a cool turn, you enter new stages by putting on a VR headset in the game.
The narrative of SUPERHOT VR is also paper thin, as the game focuses more on the combat and action. In fact, the narrative is underdeveloped when compared to the equally light story of the original SUPERHOT. I was disappointed to see the lack of exposition and absence of lore. While the gameplay stays the same, the general lack of narrative motivation makes SUPERHOT VR feel more like a shooting gallery than a purposeful story.
Fun with Guns
Thankfully, the actual combat of SUPERHOT VR remains interesting and engaging. The game is brief, clocking in at under 2 hours for me. The game is more of a puzzle game than a shooter, so some levels can be frustrating. Whether due to the PSVR’s occasional tracking issues or the one-hit kill mechanic, I don’t know. Either way, expect to die multiple times.
Since these unintended deaths can pop up, the game’s structure is also a tad bit frustrating. Instead of giving you a checkpoint after clearing each room, you must complete an entire sequence of stages before moving on. Each stage tasks you with killing every enemy before moving on, and one wrong move will send you back to the start. As the game got more difficult, I would find myself getting significantly flustered and annoyed when I died due to shoddy tracking.
However, the gameplay is fun enough and contains enough variety that I could easily overlook it. In fact, after completing the game, I couldn’t help but return to some earlier levels and try again. It’s something you truly have to play to understand, but a lot of the time SUPERHOT VR is objectively cool. Punching enemies in the face, shooting them and then catching their flying weapon, and weaving through shotgun blasts feels really engaging. If you can manage to lose yourself in the immersion, SUPERHOT VR will make you feel like a super hero.
Ways to Play
Since the campaign is pretty brief, I was glad to see numerous different modes unlocked after completing it. In addition to replaying levels normally, you can also take on time trials and an assortment of other modifiers. While the “one life for the entire game” Hardcore mode didn’t entice me, the “Headshot Only” mode did. With plenty of trophies and in-game challenges to complete, there are plenty of reasons to dive back in.
The Bottom Line on SUPERHOT VR
Sure, Playstation VR is not the best way to play SUPERHOT VR. Fortunately, it is completely viable and will give you a pretty great experience. Since the library of available PSVR games leaves a bit to be desired, I can fully recommend adding this one to your collection. When compared to the rest of the PSVR’s options, SUPERHOT VR sits towards the top. It’s not the most fun you’ll have on the system, but it’s worth the purchase. With an assortment of weapons to use and numerous levels and sub-modes to perfect, the replayability factor is good. You may run into the occasional tracking issue or die to unfair circumstance, but it’s ultimately worth it. There’s really nothing else like the slow-motion pandemonium of SUPERHOT, and that experience only gets better in virtual reality.